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86 – War and Cruelty

Hey guys what is up welcome back to my blog I’m so thankful that you guys took the time out of your day to read my blog post. Hope you all are safe from the COVID-19 and having a great day. I got so much to say for this one, so many emotions. MILD SPOILERS.

The story follows the Republic of San Magnolia which has been at war with the Empire of Giad for nine years. Though it initially suffered devastating losses to the Empire’s autonomous mechanized Legions, The Republic has since developed its own autonomous units, called Juggernauts, which are directed remotely by a Handler. While on the surface the public believes the war is being fought between machines, in reality, the Juggernauts are being piloted by humans, all of whom are “86”—the designation given to the Colorata minority of San Magnolia. The 86 originally had equal rights, but were persecuted and scapegoated by the dominant Alba race and the Alba-supremacist Republic government to the point where Colorata were both officially designated and popularly considered subhuman. The 86 were not permitted to have personal names and were immured in internment camps in the 86th District hence their name, all the while being forced to fight in the Republic’s war with the Empire to one day hpefully go back inside the Republic. Enter Major Vladilena “Lena” Milizé, an Alba noble and military officer in the San Magnolian military, she feels for the 86 and wants them to have equal rights and for the Republic to quit thier mistreatment, and the deception that they are feeding to the public. Lena is assigned as the Handler of the Spearhead Squadron of the Eastern Front: an elite unit composed entirely of 86 veterans who have earned names. Led by their squad leader, Shinei Nouzen, aka The Undertaker, (also called the Reaper), the Spearhead Squadron is infamous among military officials because the state in which its commanding officers are left. Handlers presiding over the squad have descended into insanity and some have gone as far as committing suicide. Lena, who sympathizes with the 86 gets to know the members of the squadron and with the help of Shinei (Shin) learns the dark secret behind the war between the Empire and the Republic.

The characters are vast but the story focuses only a few main characters as they go through their journey in the Spearhead Squadron. The main character Major Vladilena “Lena” Milizé is an amazingly written character, she is an idealist who believes that it is wrong to treat the 86 as non-human and wants them to be treated as human, in an attempt to do this she talks with her squad everyday and tries to get to know them. She criticizes the Republic for their practices and at the same time realizes that she too subconsciously believed that the 86 are non-human which she shows through her actions and realizes that her ideals were wrong and that she can’t be equal with the 86. There’s Shin, the squad leader who is carrying a lot of weight, he is called the Reaper because he is always the last one standing in his squad and carries his comrade’s hearts to their final destination. There are more amazing characters whom I don’t want to talk about here, the 86 who show that they are just like normal humans and the Republicans who want to deny responsibility but just know that every character goes through at least a little character development in the story.

The anime shines in the way it depicts the clear discrimination between the Alba and the 86, it isn’t just the 86 being mistreated by the Alba by having slander thrown at them or being beaten up, its properly shown as the 86 die in battle and the Alba don’t because they are safe in their walls. Lena who is an idealist learns that she doesn’t truly know the 86 and though she speaks that their treatment is wrong, she isn’t doing much about it and that shows that how even if every death of the squad affects Lena, she still isn’t experiencing the same pain. The music is amazing as well, it sets the tone perfectly for the scenes and the combat scenes too are well done though a bit too few if I do say so myself. The shows manages to do a good job of keeping an element of mystery around the events by switching perspectives between the Spearhead Squadron and Lena so pay attention to the dates.

The themes are very obviously suppression and deception by the powerful. There’s also the theme of growth and purpose. The suppression of the 86 shows just how much humans are willing to do for their own gains, they are willing to take away others rights and still expect to keep theirs just because they’re the ones in power. Deception speaks of how the Republic is kept unaware that the ‘autonomous’ Juggernaut mechas are actually controlled by the 86 just how the government keeps the pubic unaware believing that they are doing the right thing. Growth is shown my Lena as she mends her ideals and learns that instead of just speaking out uselessly against the military for their mistreatment of the 86, she needs to take action to help them. Purpose is shown by Shin as he searches for a purpose in the later episodes of the story. Despite being a show about discrimination and racism 86 actually teaches a lot.

The finale of the second season is something else, seriously, with the many twists and turns that come in the story, the ending really hits you in the feels, its amazing. While the story can be complete in and of itself right now, it isn’t complete because there is a lot more to do and see, and with the twists that are shown in the anime I am going to get to reading the light novels because with all the good action, incredibly thrilling and full of twists story, 86 just leaves you wanting more.

Rap section:

It’s a peaceful looking country going to war,
They don’t plan to conquer but it’s more,
To defend themselves from enemies and for,
This they use humans who aren’t human anymore.

Referred to as pigs these soldiers fight in mechs,
They’re human and not at the same time it’s complex,
They’re outcasts and at the same time of the Empire subjects,
Just how much they are cares for their action reflects.

Taking a stand against them is a young Major,
Assigned to a new squad she’s taking on danger,
It’s peaceful at first and these moments she needs to savor,
Because one mistake is gonna make her mery her maker.

The commander of her unit knows a few tricks,
She learns the real reason of the conflicts,
Of bitter and sweet this relationship is a mix,
This ain’t the story of the Empire it’s the story of the Eighty Six.

So that is it for this post guys hope you got some value from this.  Thank you guys for reading to the end hit me up on Instagram and Twitter with your thoughts and if you have any ideas on what I should write about. Stay safe from the COVID-19. Thank you again and I’ll see you all next week.

Published by Harshit Sagar

I am a 18 year old teen who has a passion for writing and loves anime.

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